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Eat Behav. 2009 Aug;10(3):192-5. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2009.04.001. Epub 2009 Apr 17.

Female students' disordered eating and the big five personality facets.

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  • 1University of New Brunswick, Department of Psychology, Saint John, NB, Canada E2L 4L5.


Female undergraduate students at two Canadian universities (N = 378) completed the NEO PI-R (Costa, P.T. & McCrae, R.R. (1992). NEO PI-R Professional Manual. Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources) and the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26; Garner, D. M., Olmstead, M. P., Bohr, Y. & Garfinkel, P. E. (1982). The Eating Attitudes Test: Psychometric features and clinical correlates. Psychological Medicine, 12, 871-878.). Eating disorder symptomatic (N = 43) and nonsymptomatic (N = 335) women differed on facets of Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Agreeableness. Among symptomatic women, the Oral Control subscale of the EAT-26 was correlated significantly with facets of Neuroticism, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. Specifically, the Impulsivity facet of Neuroticism was positively correlated with the Bulimia and Food Preoccupation subscale of EAT-26, but negatively correlated with the Oral Control and Dieting subscales. Overall, results suggest that high scores on Neuroticism may be a risk factor for development of disordered eating behavior and that the degree of Impulsiveness may predict the eating disorder subtype to which one is most susceptible.

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